India look to wrap-up series, Pak sends SOS for urgent replacement

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Kolkata, Nov 29 (UNI) The in-form Indian team will walk into the Eden Gardens tomorrow, aiming to wrap up the Test series against a struggling Pakistan side that has sent a clarion call back home to seek fresh replacement to boost their rag-tag outfit.

Indian has already won the first test at Feroz Shah Kotla by a convincing six wickets and is riding the crest now with the vaunted top order coming into their elements.

Indian skipper Anil Kumble meant business and before the Kolkata made it clear he eyeing to wrap up the series here, without leaving it for Bangalore.

''We want to wrap up the test series with a win here. India has not won a single Test series against Pakistan on the home soil. We want to do that. We hope to carry on the momentum from the Delhi Test and put up a formidable performance,'' Kumble asserted.

''We don't want to let them off the hook. We have to tighten the screws as early as possible and put up a big score before them or get them out cheaply,'' he added.

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Mallik, who is himself is doubtful for the second Test, said, ''We have to win this match to stay alive in the series. There is no option. We have to fight. I have talked to the selectors back home and sought urgent replacement.'' With the exception of Dinesh Karthik, everyone else has been among runs. While Wasim Jaffer was elegant on his back and front foot, cutting and driving, Rahul Dravid looked in vintage touch.

On the otherhand, Sourav Ganguly looked at his flamboyant best, while Sachin Tendulkar anchored the victory to show he is the genius of Indian cricket.

This ground has special significance for VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid, the duo scoring tons at ease at this majestic venue every now and then. While, Laxman scored a magnificent unbeaten 275, Rahul partnered him with an undefeated 155 to plot a brilliant coup against the mighty Aussies, who came to Kolkata winning 16 Tests on a trot and the 90000 odd spectators would be dying for another such run fest.

Kumble said there was a role for everyone to play in the team.

''We are playing as an unit and we hope to continue to do that.

There are certain places where we could have done better. Like in the first innings after the unfortunate run-out, we lost a few wickets in a heap. That is something we would like to correct.'' Speaking about the strengths in the Indian middle-order, the newly-appointed Test skipper said, ''This is Rahul's favourite ground and the last time he played Pakistan here, he scored two centuries in back-to-back innings. I hope he live up to his form.'' Kumble also announced Sourav Ganguly will be a greater role to play with the ball in addition to his batting responsibilities in his home ground. Kumble also hinted at mainting the same bowling line-up.

On whether it was a fair assumption that the winning combination would be retained, he said, ''That is a very fair assumption.

Everyone is fit for selection. But the final eleven will be decided only after talking to Chairman of Selectors Dilip Vensargar after he arrives this evening.'' Commenting on the Pakistan side, 'The Jumbo' said, ''They do feel the absence of Inzamam-ul Haq who had been a pillar of their middle-order batting for decades. But they are a good side and if some of the key players are dropped due to illness it will be unfortunate. We would like to play the best Pakistan side.'' MORE UNI

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